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Alex Burns



  • History, Ph.D. (2021, West Virginia University) 
  • History, M.A. (2014, Ball State University)
  • History, B.A. (2012, Indiana Wesleyan University)

Teaching Fields

  • Modern Europe
  • Atlantic World
  • British Empire
  • Nineteenth Century 

Research Interests

As a scholar, I am interested in the transnational intersection of the histories of empire, race, violence, class and place in the Atlantic World and Europe between 1739 and 1789. My dissertation, “The Entire Army Says Hello”: Common Soldiers’ Experiences, Localism, and Army Reform in Britain and Prussia, 1739-1789", was directed by Dr. Katherine Aaslestad. My next project, a continuation of the original dissertation project with Dr. Tyler Boulware, will explore the story of African and African-American men in eighteenth-century European armies. During this period, both enslaved and free black men served, fought, and led in European armies. The antagonism that these men faced from their fellow soldiers, as well as civilians, partially explains the development of racial thinking in Enlightenment Europe. 

Courses Offered

My teaching philosophy is that students learn when fully engaged, as a result, I frequently use learning exercises such as the Reacting to the Past game series in my courses, as well as discussions and lectures. In the fall of 2021, I am teaching Modern Military History (HIST-210) as well as courses of Revolutionary Europe (HIST-207) and World History (HIST-179). In the Spring 2022 semester, I will be teaching Modern Military History once again, as well as an upper-level and graduate course on German Central Europe between 1600 and 1871 (HIST-317/517). As a college educator with eight years of teaching experience at four universities, I have taught courses on World, Western, United States, Colonial American, German and Military History.